Yigal Ziv has been involved with CNC machine monitoring for over 20 years. The technology was very basic in the early days since machine controls were not designed to provide access to internal data.
In recent years this has changed, and newer machine controls were designed to provide access using a variety of communication protocols.
With the advances in technology, machining organizations began showing interest in using collected data from their machines to improve the utilization of their equipment.
Companies with expertise in servicing the machining market found this new opportunity to be attractive and began offering software programs to collect data from machines.
The most popular application offered in North America was to monitor O.E.E (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) a standard method that considers utilization, output, and quality. According to Yigal Ziv, many times OEE was simplified to monitor utilization.
In September 2021 an article in a German online publication wrote: “… ten years ago, shortly before the Hanover Fair 2011, representatives of the “Industry 4.0” initiative predicted a transformation of industrial production that would lead to a “fourth industrial revolution driven by the Internet”.
The headline of the article read: Ten years of Industry 4.0: zero productivity gains
In the US a similar initiative had a different name “IIOT” or Industrial Internet of Things. The application of IIOT in machining operations was mostly OEE according to Yigal Ziv, and the sense is that the US initiative had similar results to the one in Europe.
How was it explained in Germany? “The researchers around Prof. Steffen Kinkel from the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences see the decisive shortcoming of the digitization efforts in the fact that the companies rely too one-sidedly on IT solutions, although productivity advances are primarily based on process improvements. Because the digitization of production “does not necessarily lead to increases in productivity. The digitization of inefficient processes leads to inefficient digital processes.”
According to Yigal Ziv the situation in the US is very similar, hence the similar results. Large corporations, attracted to a new fashion of applying data to manufacturing processes, handed the selection & implementation process to their IT departments. What was missing is the extensive involvement of manufacturing departments, since they manage the manufacturing process, and they need to see how using data will improve the process.
Integrating data in manufacturing can drive process improvements, it just needs to be done right.